Getting paid within the shortest timeframe
If you decide to delve into the Amazon ecosystem, there is one massive challenge for Aussies (or anyone outside the US and UK). The one big problem publishing on Amazon, whether it be amazon.com or any other store besides amazon.com.au – is getting paid quickly and efficiently for your book and Kindle book sales.
Without a US or UK bank account, publishers in other countries have no choice but to get paid via cheque, delivered to you via snail mail. So after the very long wait to receive this international cheque (which is paid to you in USD), the local banks then charge a hefty fee to cash it into Aussie dollars (most of them are around $15, but worth shopping around for yourself).
Your account is automatically set at a threshold of USD 50.00 – which means your royalties need to accumulate to USD 50.00 until their system will issue the royalty cheque, effectively leaving you with approximately AUD 35.00 in your bank account, if the exchange rate is neutral (which happens… never), or even less if the exchange rate is going against you.
This, for me, started to become a problem.
The first thing I did was adjust the payment threshold on all my amazon accounts to USD 100,00, but really, we are not talking about the sort of money that will set us up for retirement here, and this did not fix the issue of the fees decaying the royalties.
In some forums I came across a service that overcomes this and I have set this up for myself with success, so if you find yourself in a similar position where you are wanting to maximize your royalty payments, this information might be useful to you.
There is a service in the United States called Payoneer and they allow people outside the US to set up an account with the Bank of America (a lot of financial companies use softbanks – banks which are virtual, allowing them to cut down on overheads (no physical location) and offer a better interest rate). For you as a publisher and non-US resident, Amazon can now EFT the royalties directly into your US bank account. Accessing the funds works in much the same way as a Paypal account.
Incidentally they also issue you with a debit MasterCard which can be convenient if you are an online shopper or frequent international traveller who likes to take advantage of fluctuating exchange rates by holding US Dollars.